Hi there, I have a 3 and a haf year old son who developed quite severe geographic tongue when he was around a year and a half,but it was only diagnosed by a dentist when he was around 2, before that the doctors thought they were mouth ulcers. It seems to get better and worse as though it has a cycle, and some foods like tomatoes and other acidic foods make it sore. I've been told that it is just one of those things, that it is nothing he is eating or anything I can do. Howevr recently have developed it myself which has mae me question is it possibly viral? Or a genetic link, but why haven'tI noticed it before on myself? Also I have been told that another young boy at nursery has severe geographic tongue as well, hoping this is just coincidence. I asked the doctor to refer my son to a consultant to get more details but they refused as they said I would just be told there is nothing to be done. Does anyone have any advice? I feel like I should be doing something to help my son, I'm worried that it's hurting him as I'm finding it painful myself, and do not want him to get teased at school when he starts next year. Many thanks.
Hi, the Mayo Clinic has a good section about geographic tongue, including some of the treatments for it.
Here is what it says about risk factors that might cause it:
Studies of factors that may be associated with an increased risk of geographic tongue have produced mixed results.
Factors that are likely associated with an increased risk — relatively well supported by research — include the following:
Family history. Inherited genetic factors may increase the risk of the disorder.
Fissured tongue. People with geographic tongue often have another disorder called fissured tongue, the appearance of deep fissures, or grooves, on the surface of the tongue.
Some studies have suggested a number of other factors that may increase the risk of geographic tongue, but other studies haven't supported the same conclusions. These other possible factors include:
Oral contraceptive use
Allergies and other immune system hypersensitivities
Stress or psychological disorders
Other skin disorders
Further in the section, it mentions some types of mouth rinses that have been tried as treatments, and comments that certain kinds of toothpastes should not be used. If your doctor and your dentist have merely shrugged and said "nothing can be done" they are being a little disingenuous. At least there are some things to try.
Finally, they do say that the biggest problem people have about geographic tongue is that they have trouble believing that is not serious, and will end of its own accord after a period of time. At least your son has that to look forward to.
Hi Annie, thank you for all that info, I've not heard of the Mayo Clinic before, is it online? I will take a look. I really think I should push with the doctors or dentist to get a specialist opinion as well, I'm going to look into which type of toothpastes etc that are recommended as well. Many thanks.
The Mayo Clinic is a famous and well respected medical clinic, in Rochester, New York. Their online resource is an offshoot of their services. Along with the Centers for Disease Control website, is one of the two or three medical websites with the most valid and useful information. Google Mayo Clinic and geographic tongue, and please stop worrying. In the meantime, consider changing toothpastes for sure.
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